In September 2020, Lakefield College School launched a new co-curricular program for students interested in music and arts. Grove Records is the school’s very own record label, which was created and is led under the direction of JUNO nominated songwriter, producer, and musician, Rob Well and LCS teacher and Director of Musical Theatre Geoff Bemrose.
Throughout the year, LCS students will write and record fully produced songs, shoot music videos, and distribute them on digital platforms, such as Apple Music and Spotify to be enjoyed by those in our community and beyond.
This program builds on previous years’ experiences, when Bemrose invited Well to visit the school to run two-day songwriting and recording workshops. The year-long Grove Records co-curricular offers students an opportunity to really dive deep into the process. What if students could write, perform, record, and produce their own music, under their own label, and release it into the world? What would happen if students had the responsibility to manage an artist, help cultivate their image, and shoot music videos? How much could we accomplish if multiple clubs and classes came together to work on one authentic and integrated project? These are the exciting questions that led to the launch of the Grove Records label and so far, the results have exceeded expectations!
The student-created vision for the label is for it to be diverse, fun, professional, and a safe space to create music. These ideals were apparent in the first few weeks of meetings, as students focused on fostering strong group dynamics while completing fun songwriting challenges, such as writing a pop chorus in 45 minutes! From there, students submitted an audition tape to be considered as a featured artist and six were chosen. Since then, they have been busy writing songs with their songwriting teams and exploring who they are as an artist with their student manager while doing photoshoots and interviews with the school’s student newspaper.
In the second half of the year, the strongest two songs from each artist will be selected to be recorded and produced. These songs will be released on major streaming platforms (Apple Music and Spotify), and in the Spring, students will begin production for their music videos. Along the way, other industry professionals will be invited to speak to our students in order to give them insight into the various departments that make a record label tick.
Grove Records is another addition to the one of a kind learning experience offered at Lakefield College School.